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Merkel: I see light at the end of the tunnel

After her meeting with prime minister Antonis Samaras, German chancellor Angela Merkel expressed hope for the disbursement of the tranche.

After her meeting with prime minister Antonis Samaras, German chancellor Angela Merkel expressed hope for the disbursement of the tranche.

The Greek government appears satisfied and considers the presence of Merkel in our country as an act of support for the effort to end the crisis and remain in the Eurozone.

"I see light at the end of the tunnel. I hope and pray that Greece will remain in the Eurozone. The road we follow leads us to regaining our credibility," Merkel said.

She also said that the preconditions to remain in the Eurozone arise through the Troika’s assessment and that "we are pushing and we must solve this problem." Asked about the time of the disbursement, she replied that "it is more important to be working in depth than being fast. We are pushing things but credibility must be regained."

Merkel added that "this period experienced by Greece is very difficult especially for its people. A large part of the road has been traveled and despite the fact that the course is difficult it would be worthwhile for Greece to complete it. Our common interest is to regain credibility in Europe and show that we can solve our problems. It will also give a boost to bilateral issues and strengthen bilateral cooperation in the Task Force with Fuchtel."

Merkel spoke of the need for development. "There should be development along with the austerity measures. We support Greece’s need to get the money from the European Investment Bank, and the country has made significant progress. The deficit was 10% in 2009 and now has dropped to 2%. We have a common currency, 60% of Germany's exports are in Europe and 40% in the Eurozone, if one member state is not well then none is". The course is very tough but leads to success. Not everything has been achieved but ​​important steps have been taken. The Troika report will be submitted in the next days, we are pushing, we must solve the problems." Asked about the purpose of her visit she said "I am here to better understand what is happening in Greece, acquire a supervisory capacity and deep knowledge of things and contribute to finding a solution."

Antonis Samaras said that "Greece will meet its obligations and overcome the crisis, as long as we get out of the recession and unemployment. This means that Greece must remain in the euro and implement the structural changes.

Merkel showed complete understanding and respect, and stressed that the sacrifices will not be in vain. Our reliability has increased and this visit proves it. We discussed practical ways of cooperation, particularly in areas such as Health and Local Government. She expressed her decision to help Greece. In a short time the success of Greece will overcome the crisis and this will be a European success. We welcomed a friend and we are turning over a new leaf in the relations between the two countries."

The prime minister called the recession an enemy of the country. The entire world understands the effort and struggle we are going through to end this situation. I assume that the EU wants to help Greece and recognizes the sacrifices of the Greek people."

Optimism in Greece

The government appeared satisfied from the visit of the German chancellor. "The atmosphere was great," said a member of the government, adding that they discussed all the open issues of the country, including the disbursement of the tranche and the extension, about which the Greek side considers that it will now have the support of the German government, although Merkel says it cannot substitute the Troika.

Asked if the disbursement of the tranche will be decided on  time, Samaras replied that "some details remain so I can't tell you when this will happen."

He also appeared satisfied with the discussion between Merkel and Greek businessmen. "Her presence helps to overcome the fear of leaving the euro, which is a big drag on Greek entrepreneurship abroad," the prime minister said.

Greek businessmen told Merkel about the issue "of default" of the State towards them and stressed that it is important to have the disbursement in order for them to sustain their businesses.
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